Milton A. Rothman has written three books which together cover the physics and
philosophy underlying the practice of skepticism with regard to the paranormal,
pseudoscience, UFOs, faster-than-light travel, psychic experiences, and other
manifestations of popular culture.  These books may not change the minds of
those who are already "true believers," but they are helpful in pointing
students who have not yet made up their minds in the direction of critical


was first published by Doubleday & Co. in 1972.
It was reprinted by Dover Publications in 1989. (ISBN 0-486-26178-6)  This book
deals with the fundamental laws of nature as understood by an experimental
physicist.  It answers the age-old question "How do we know what we know -- and
how accurately do we know it?"  It discusses both the classical and modern
experiments verifying the law of gravitation, the laws of motion, the
conservation laws, the principle of relativity, and so on.  In all cases it
seeks to bring out how accurately all of these laws are known.  A new chapter,
added in the 1989 edition, applies this knowledge to the field of skepticism.


was published by Prometheus Books in 1988.
(ISBN 0-87975-440-0)  This book is a thorough application of the laws of
physics to topics of interest in the field of skepticism.  How do we know
perpetual motion is impossible?  How do we know you can't make energy out of
nothing?  We learn that the laws of nature are of two kinds:  Laws of
Permission and Laws of Denial.  Laws of Permission tell us what kind of actions
nature allows.  Laws of Denial tell us what kind of actions nature does not
allow.  We find that it is easier to say what is impossible than what is
possible.  We learn about verification and falsification, and we learn what is
a proper theory.


was published by Prometheus Books in 1992.  (ISBN 0-87975-710-8)   This book is
more philosophical in nature than the other two, and contains no equations.
Each chapter has a title that describes a myth -- a belief that considered true
by many people, but which are in reality quite false.
"Nothing exists until it is observed."
"Nothing is known for sure."
"Nothing is impossible."
"Whatever we think we know now is likely to be overturned in the future."
"Advanced civilization on other planets possess great forces unavailable to us
on earth."
"All theories are equal."
. . . .  etcetera, etcetera.
While you may think it is obvious that all the above statements are nonsense,
some famous scientists have subscribed to a few of them, so it is not a waste
of time to think seriously and critically about them.  The following review was
written of this book:
 Dispelling the Myths and Understanding the Reality of Science
 Milton A. Rothman
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 ....At a time when there is an ever-widening gap between what the expert knows and what the average person believes, this accessible volume clearly explains the scientific facts and concepts that are indispensible for an understanding of our material universe. Milton Rothman examines sixteen standard myths about the nature of science, demonstrating that much of what passes for logical argumentation consists of the repetition of cliches and current  folklore.

 "I expect every reader will object to one or more of Rothman's statements. But no matter which side of the debate you find yourself on, Rothman's discussion is stimulating and brings life to the  iscourse about the philosophy of science." Astronomy

 ". . . the book will be a valuable resource for educators and students . . ."
 The Science Teacher

 "The book is to the point, easily read and highly logical. It will be of great help, and is  recommended, to those who wish to dispel myths and enter the debate between science and superstition. It should occupy one's library as a reference to be used in the refutation of nonsense." The American Rationalist

 ". . . extraordinary volume. . . . so clear is the exposition that both the novice and the self-styled expert can benefit from its demolition of the widespread fallacies concerning both the physical universe and the community of scientists who observe, explore, and explain it. . . . For a generation
that has grown up with  'Star Trek', an immense library of science fiction, and media that entertain
rather than educate, this book will be harsh but desperately needed therapy. . . . The National Science Foundation would be well advised to put a copy of this book in every high school and college." Science Books & Films

 "Very clearly written, well footnoted, with a useful index. . ." Choice

 PAGES: 254 pp COMMENTS: (Index) ISBN: 0-87975-710-8 BINDING: Cloth PRICE:
$31.95 SIZE: 6 x 9 CATEGORY: Popular Science

 more information from Milton:
 More Free Energy and Hot Air
 Perpetual Motion
 Foolish Scientists  -article by Milt published in  PHACTUM
 CSICOP / Skeptical Briefs / June 1995 / Reality Check / No More Mister Nice Guy - article by Milton
milt is known to correspond from  the PhACTboard

this page is posted by  Eric Krieg